Moonlight Blade Online has started its final close beta test (CBT) on 28th May 2015. Although activation code is still required to participate in this CBT, the character data will NOT be wiped and it is expected that the OBT will be coming soon. Players who have reach level 51 will be able to invite 1 friend to join the CBT as well. Currently, the level cap is at level 50, but level 60 cap will be released this Saturday (13th June 2015).
I have been playing Moonlight Blade Online since the previous CBT. I did not write a critical review for the game in my past articles as it was still premature, but i believe it is the right time to do so now. Major improvements and changes have been implemented to the game as compared to the previous CBT. This review briefly covers various aspects of the game; detailed articles on each aspect will be written in the future.
The basic combat system does not undergo much changes as compared to previous CBT. You can choose between the tradtional click-target mode or action combat mode. I prefer the action combat mode in most cases. However, since i am a healer, at times, i would need to target a specific person in the party for healing. Despite me being in action combat mode, i can still perform click-targetting by press the ALT key, such that i can heal the specific member in my group. In general, action combat mode feels better, especially if you have played games such as Blade & Soul Online.
There are 6 classes currently, namely Tai Bai 太白, Zhen Wu 真武, Beggar 丐帮, Shen Wei 神威, Tian Xiang 天香, Tang Men 唐门. A new class Wu Du 五毒 will be released later in the CBT. Official english names for classes are not available at the moment.
The current CBT follows the conventional trinity concept in terms of party role: tanker-dps-healer. This is a significant departure from the previous concept in terms of party dynamics, whereby a healer is not needed for most dungeons. In previous CBT, players can heal HP in battle, by consuming potion (long cooldown though), Meditation, or using HP leeching skills to kill mobs (if and only if you use that skill to kill it). This unorthodox system turns out to be failure based on the response from the past CBT.
Therefore, the developer has reverted to the conventional trinity party role in this CBT. They have extended the total number of party member from 4 to 5, allocating a special slot for the healer class, Tian Xiang. The healing skills for Tian Xiang have been boosted significantly while the Meditation has been nerfed (probably because the battle flow looked very weird when players suddenly sit down during battle to heal very often). Currently, most high level dungeons/contents require Tian Xiang in the party. The tanker role however, is somewhat absent in this trinity as all the current released classes are not able to tank properly, without an active, short CD block or invincible skill, especially in the end-game dungeons. In most scenarios, the person who got the aggro of the boss, have to resort to kiting the boss instead.
Besides the usual combat related content such as instances or world bosses, players can also challenge certain NPC to a 1v1 duel. Winning the duel will grant you Cultivation Point (see Character Growth section) and permanent stats increase.
The game promotes immersion into the ancient chinese martial art world by introducing various jobs/professions, namely Hunter, Police, Deliveryman, Musical Player, Calligrapher, Treasure Hunter and Assassin. Each profession has its characteristic mini-games which grant good rewards. Initially, player can only choose 1 job, but eventually as you get to higher levels, you can take up to 3 jobs. This is significantly different from previous CBT, whereby everybody can perform the activities of these jobs at any time. In this CBT, for example, you can only hunt if you have chosen hunter as your profession. However, group activities such as delivery mission and catching criminal, can be performed, as long as the party leader is a deliveryman and a police respectively.
Each profession also has a unique skill tree, where you can learn gear/item crafting and gain access to stats increasing passive, buff skills and party formation skills.